C. Milton Wright girls fall short at Bull Run

Mustangs finish in third

River Hill boys prevail

Cross country

High Schools

September 19, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Bull Run Invitational woke up one top-ranked cross country team and shook up another yesterday.

No. 1 River Hill survived a scare from No. 3 Broadneck to capture the boys elite division at Hereford High in Parkton. But top-ranked C. Milton Wright was not as fortunate, as the Mustangs finished third in the girls elite division.

C. Milton Wright's stumble was the surprise of the meet, as the Mustangs had entered the competition ranked fourth in the Southeast region of the Nike Team Nationals.

But C. Milton Wright - which compiled 85 points - could not catch eventual winner Unionville of Pennsylvania (44 points) and runner-up Morgantown of West Virginia (73).

"It's disappointing for us," Mustangs senior Kelli Buck said of the team's performance. "We have high goals and high standards for the season. Third place in this division is good, but that's not what we were expecting."

While C. Milton Wright is still the favorite to claim the Class 3A state championship to be contested at Hereford in early November, yesterday's outcome could affect the team's hopes of qualifying for the Nike Team Nationals in Portland, Ore., in late November.

The top two teams in each of eight regions automatically advance to the national invitational, and four at-large bids are awarded.

Asked if his squad had perhaps been thinking about protecting the regional ranking, Mustangs coach Donnie Mickey said, "The bottom line is we won't have to worry about that now. ... We didn't run well at all. We really looked like we weren't ready to run today."

River Hill, on the other hand, escaped an upset bid by Broadneck by placing five runners in the top 44. Efforts from junior Sergiy Zubko (fifth place in 17 minutes, 52 seconds), senior Nicholas Keane (seventh, 18:10), junior Andrew Bank (13th, 18:29), junior Kevin McCoy (35th, 19:14) and senior Andrew Seelaus (44th, 19:24) paced the Hawks to 104 points.

"This is not the way we could have or should have run," River Hill coach Earl Lauer said. "A win's a win, but I wasn't happy."

Zubko said the slim margin of victory should serve as a reminder to the team.

"Although people expect us to win, we've got to be careful," he said. "We came out of nowhere [last year]. People can come out of nowhere after us."

The Bruins, led by sophomore Matthew Centrowitz's third-place showing (17:32), posted 110 points.

Area teams and individuals swept the large and small schools divisions. Woodlawn sophomore Dwight Parker raced past reigning Class 4A state champion Ricky Flynn of Damascus to win the large schools race in 17:32. Arundel sophomore Marissa McPhail was so overpowering in the girls event that her winning time of 20:57 was 1:04 faster than her closest competitor.

No. 6 Wilde Lake collected the boys large schools team crown thanks to showings from senior Scott Gayer (third, 17:51), senior John Christon (fifth, 18:23), senior Josh Adams (ninth, 18:34), sophomore J.P. Allera (10th, 18:36) and senior Scott Levin (47th, 20:28).

And Centennial took home the girls title courtesy of outings from senior Sarah Lancos (sixth, 23:21), senior Amanda Hill (ninth, 23:36), sophomore Angeli Sivaraman (11th, 23:41), junior Amy Dunham (27th, 24:42) and senior Tricia White (38th, 25:22).

In the small schools division, McDonogh senior Tristram Thomas posted the day's best time with a winning mark of 17:18. Senior Beth Links made it an Eagles sweep when she crossed the finish line first in 21:27.

Senior Carl Henn (fourth, 18:12), freshman Eric Liberatore (fifth, 18:14), junior Jim Ridder (12th, 18:41), senior Bryan Mull (14th, 18:43) and senior Frank Sisolak (16th, 18:48) paced No. 2 Liberty to the boys small schools team championship. No. 2 Mercy grabbed the girls crown thanks to performances from sophomore Karen Buchheister (eighth, 22:23), senior Maggie King (11th, 22:41), senior Jamie Antonious (14th, 23:05), sophomore Theresa Lippy (31st, 24:02) and senior Melanie Mitchell (47th, 24:47).

Atholton sophomore Alison Smith won the medium schools division in 20:23. No. 4 Severna Park captured the team crown by relying on junior Kate Eisenbeiser (seventh, 22:22), freshman Liya Kasimova (eighth, 22:29), junior Jennine Strange (10th, 22:38), junior Christine Brus (18th, 23:09) and senior Jessica Prue (25th, 23:33).

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